Baking with kids at Christmas time can be fun, daunting, adorable, and messy. I love baking with my kids, but let’s face it, if I’m not prepared for the mess and I am not feeling patient, it can be disasterous.
One thing that makes it a little easier is having a kid friendly recipe. In my house, that’s a Spritz Cookie recipe for cookies using a cookie press. As a kid, we used my grandmother’s recipe, and a press that required turning a knob on top which was both awkward and slippery.
Now, I have a new recipe and a press that works with a trigger. I love it and the cookies come out very even in size and shape. As far as prepping the batter goes, I also have “helpers.” They get the batter ready, I set up the cookies on the sheet, and then my helpers come in again to decorate. It creates a fabulous little balance that keeps everyone happy.
(recipe reprinted with permission from Cook’s Illustrated)
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalter butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a small bowl mix egg yolk, cream and vanilla. (If you want to use food coloring, this is the time to add it)
- In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and salt at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Scrape down bowl and with mixer at medium speed add yolk/cream mixture and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl.
- With mixer at low speed, slowly add flour until combined. Give a final stir with a spatula to be sure no flour pockets remain.
- Add dough to chamber of cookie press and press out cookie shapes onto ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Notes from my experience:
I’ve been using this recipe since it was published in 2004. It never fails, and people love them.
I love them because they are easy to decorate and the recipe makes about 60 cookies. Perfect for gift giving!
This was the first time I tried using parchment paper while baking. While I like the easy clean up, the dough was very sticky on the paper. I’ll stick with the plain baking sheet in the future.
You can follow all of my cooking adventures on Twitter @TracyCooksIt